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Republicans urge Akin to leave Senate race (+video)

Following comments U.S. Representative Todd Akin made over the weekend about rape, the GOP is encouraging him to give up his nomination in a Senate race in Missouri. Akin has lost Republican financial backing, but he has so far resisted stepping down.   

Rep. Todd Akin's comments on "legitimate rape" have forced Republican party leaders, including Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, to suggest he quit the race for Senate in Missouri. Wyatt Andrews reports.
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Senior Republicans urged congressman Todd Akin on Monday to quit the U.S. Senate race in Missouri over his inflammatory remarks about rape that distracted from the party's nomination next week of Mitt Romney for U.S. president.

Akin was widely criticized for saying in a television interview Sunday that women have biological defenses to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape," making legal abortion unnecessary.

As pressure built on Akin, Republicans cut off cash for his campaign which had looked like a relatively easy victory against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

In a rare appearance in the White House briefing room, President Barack Obama called Akin's remarks offensive, compounding the Republicans' discomfort.

The furor pushed the campaign debate squarely onto social issues and away from jobs, which Romney has tried to keep at the center of his bid to win the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Akin's remarks complicated Republican efforts to capture the four Democratic seats they need ensure a majority in the 100-member Senate.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, chairman of the influential committee that raises money for Republican Senate candidates, called Akin's comments "indefensible."


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